Over at the Putz my attention was directed to this news item in which Glenn Reynolds expresses his opinion about a bill in the Tennessee legislature to allow concealed firearms on campus. As an experienced educator, Glenn takes the only sensible position:
Yet UT-Knoxville law professor and Libertarian Instapundit blogger Glenn Reynolds said he supports Campfield’s bill. “I have a number of students who are licensed to carry weapons and I’d feel safer, not less safe, knowing that they are carrying on campus. I certainly would feel safer if some of my colleagues were armed, too,” he said.
Such a comment would lead me to question whether the speaker has ever stood in front of a classroom in his or her life. Since Mr. Reynolds clearly has done so, I must proceed to questioning just how profoundly this person is retarded.
There I go throwing around that word again. Sorry. I can think of none other to describe someone who has stood at the front of a giant public university lecture hall packed with 150 sleep-deprived, emotionally unbalanced, substance abusing, clinically depressed, and stressed out 20 year olds and thought, "You know what would make me feel safer? If they all had fucking guns."
It's important to absorb that point before moving on. He is arguing that if people carried loaded, concealed firearms around on campus it would be a less dangerous place.
"But a concealed carrier could have stopped the Virginia Tech shooter!" they say, cherry-picking a scenario that suits their argument. OK, let's grant that. Someone shoots the rampaging lunatic before he can kill more than a couple folks. 30 lives are saved. I wonder how, in a year-end accounting, those 30 lives would stack up against the – what, dozens? hundreds? not thousands, of course – of additional homicides that would take place by giving a huge, mentally unstable group of adolescents and young adults ready access to a loaded firearms at all times. Like, "My girlfriend dumped me, I failed Calc 242, and I've been awake for three days on peyote and playing Counter-Strike. I'm 19 and prone to irrational behavior befitting my inability to control my emotions. If only I had a…wait, I do have a gun!" Of course, other concealed carriers could shoot this hypothetical person before he could go on a rampage, so Glenn is right: the campus would be safer excepting (and in his opinion, thanks to) the intermittent vigilante gun battles between unstable teenagers.
A historian and firearms enthusiast who I am pleased to know once waxed lyrical about the American Old West, which he considered to be a more polite and mannerly time. His argument was that with men constantly armed they were more civil to one another lest the six-shooters be called into action. This logic (or "logic") always amazed me. People were more polite to one another because they were afraid of insulting someone who was armed, and they were afraid because people who insulted one another regularly resolved their differences with guns. So it was a more polite and genteel time because people shot the living fuck out of one another in public in the not uncommon event of insults being traded, bets being welched upon, or the heroic intake of hard liquor made in the boiler tank of a locomotive.
Ah, the good old days. Hopefully they'll be here again soon, at least in Tennessee. As about half of the undergrads in a freshman/sophomore class are either totally devoid of life experience, drunk 19 hours daily, on drugs, being treated for depression, some combination thereof, or just plain ol' immature, I can think of no way to improve upon the situation except to introduce into it a lot of loaded guns. I mean, what could go wrong?